Researchers have discovered an antibiotic that reduces chances of organ rejection in liver transplants.
UCLA’s(University of California-Los Angeles) research team discovered that giving antibiotics to mice before a liver transplant leads to better results in the functioning of the liver. From the previously performed transplants, it was concluded that it also works in humans.
An experiment was conducted on mice and it was found that the antibiotics inhibit bacteria which causes inflammation, which in turn sometimes rejects the organ and the same phenomenon appears to hold in humans.
It is linked to the gut microbiome.
Specifically, it was found that in humans and mice the treatment given before the transplant reduced the damage which could occur when blood flow is restored to the liver after a while without oxygen. It also reduced the inflammation while accelerating the removal of damaged cells.
“The livers in the mice that received antibiotics were protected against transplant damage, as well as rejection later on because the antibiotics modulated their host microbiomes, which in turn stimulated cell protection.”Kupiec-Weglinski
The data demonstrated that people who were in a bad health condition before their surgeries but had received pre-surgery antibiotics fared better after their transplants that those who were healthier and didn’t take any antibiotics.
“To our total surprise, livers functioned better after transplantation in those patients who were very sick and required prolonged antibiotic therapy.”Kupiec-Weglinski
The researchers narrowed their focus to human patients who had been given a specific antibiotic, Rifaximin, before their transplants.
They found that Rifaximin stays in the bowel and has a lower risk for inducing bacterial resistance, and liver failure was significantly delayed or stopped.